Pip's Desire to be a Gentleman Essay

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Great Expectations - Why was Pip's desire to be a gentleman bound up with winning the love of Estella? In the book Great Expectations Pip has a great desire to become a gentleman. During the times during which the book was set, in the 1800's, a gentleman was someone who was rich, well-spoken and had a good number of contacts in important places. They were the envy of the poor, because the gentlemen looked down upon them, believing themselves to be better. In the book I believe that Charles Dickens put this want of Pip's to become a gentleman because it was not dissimilar to his own life. Charles Dickens was moved to Camden Town, London from Chatham at the age of ten and his father was imprisoned on the charge of debt. This…show more content…
Despite this he still seems in awe of her: "She seemed much older than I, of course, being a girl, and beautiful and self possessed; and she was as scornful of me as if she had been one-an-twenty, and a queen". So from the start Pip is in awe of Estella because of her beauty. It seems Miss. Havisham has taught her well in that she was supposed to win men's hearts and then break them. This was Miss. Havisham's way of seeking revenge on the male sex after she was left at the altar. Everything in Manor House is exactly as it was at that moment when she was left at the altar, and Estella was brought up to seek reprisal on the male sex. Just before Pip first meets Miss. Havisham Estella humiliates Pip in a moment when he was clearly timid about going into Miss. Havisham's room first and ask Estella to go in. Estella replies: "Don't be ridiculous boy; I am not going in." Estella scorns him again when she comes in to play with him, by the order of Miss. Havisham: "He is a common labouring - boy!" While they are playing cards also she still mocks him of his inferiority to her: "'He calls the knaves, Jacks, this boy!' said Estella with disdain." Estella then ridicules him of his appearance something which Pip was not ashamed of before: "What coarse hands he has. And what thick boots". Pip then finds himself looking at his hands and boots, "I had never thought of being ashamed of my hands before; but I began to consider them a very
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